I was closely following this election, and nearly missed the other one. As you know we have close to 30 chief ministers in India, but only two Adivasi rajas. The one in Kerala, Thevan Rajamannan died last week and it was a week long search for a successor.

Ariyaan Raja Mannan will succeed Thevan Rajamannan as the “ËœRaja’ of the Mannan community in Idukki district. The 26-year-old “Ëœking’ is the 16th Raja of the community and is the youngest to ascend the throne. The selection is a complex process involving “Ëœpsychic revelation’ and acceptance among the “ËœKaanis,’ leaders of various Mannan “Ëœkudis’ (villages) who play a pivotal role in the administration of the Mannan community, which follows the matrilineal system.

The uniqueness of this election is that, interested candidates can do nothing but pray for getting elected. Congress party did the same in Gujarat it seems, but that election works in a different way. I’m happy that Modi got re-elected. Otherwise we would have taken democracy for granted. A leader like Modi who relies on a high decibel message of development and xenophobic nationalism can be countered only by a strong ideological opposition which cuts through his message. Congress party in Gujarat lost, but the sad part is they lost it completely.

Did they really believe Sonia Gandhi won the 2004 elections for them? Is that why the elections became Sonia vs Modi, with Rahul to go with. Sonia and Rahul don’t win elections for you, YSR Reddy wins elections. Remember the undefeatable Babu Naidu (we all wanted him as our Chief Minister, didn’t we). YSR led a two year long mass campaign against Naidu, it was YSR’s mass appeal that gave Congress its 29 seats in Andhra. It was those 29 seats which re-wrote the national destiny in Delhi.

Every year is a 2004, but you need a leadership which braves the deccan heat in 2002 and 2003 taking out “Pada yatra” and “Jaitra Yatra” to the people, which taps into the anti-establishment mood. Sadly for the Congress there was no 2005 or 2006 in Gujarat, and Madam flying down and waving to the people does not change that. Chandrababu Naidu was not defeated on election day, Modis die by a thousand wounds.

and the best Birthday gift to Vajpayee, atleast now he can “show his face”